November 25, 2014

And Now for Something Completely Different...

I have never been a huge Monty Python fan, but some 'memes' just stick in your head. I guess it is part-and-parcel with growing up as a Baby Boomer, and with having been raised on TV sitcoms and other satire that was all the rage in late 1960s and 1970s (Mel Brooks, for example). I was thinking about life today, and this 'meme' popped into my head.

I digress...What is a 'meme' anyway? Why do we even say that word?

From the authoritative source, Wikipedia:

"A meme is "an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture." A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols, or practices that can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena with a mimicked theme. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate, mutate, and respond to selective pressures."

Oh, so that is why. Hmmm. I guess it fits.

I am at a crossroads today. I have looked forward to this day for weeks. Today is Tuesday, just an ordinary Tuesday. It is as normal as normal can be except for the fact that it is the "day after" I had to submit two major assignments in my Regent classes. I have that "hung over" feeling, that feeling that says "I shouldn't have done what I did last night" (or in my case, the weeks leading up to yesterday). I have never felt so bad about turning in assignments like I have this semester. When I say "bad" I mean horrible, filled with dread, with fear and with angst.

Angst. It is one of my favorite words. I am filled with angst. What does angst mean you ask?

Let's go check.

a feeling of deep anxiety or dread, typically an unfocused one about the human condition or the state of the world in general.

Yes. This accurately sums up my feelings right now. I am filled with angst, dread, deep anxiety.

Why? Why in the world would I be filled with angst? Good question. The answer is simple. I spent this past semester under the intense pressure of too MUCH of everything. I know, I know -- that makes absolutely no sense. Yeah, I agree. Really, it is a pretty accurate assessment of my life right now. I have had too much work, too much study, too much teaching, too much care giving, too much fatigue, and too much of feeling whipped, beaten down, and unable to get up. In short, I am done. I am worn out and worn in. I am ready to throw in the towel.

You see --> Today was my day of relief. This was the day I have look forward to all semester. It was the day after my last day teaching for Fall break, and it was my day of rest. It was the day when I could sit back and say "I did it" and mean that I had submitted all the major papers and assignments for Regent, and the day I finished all my teaching. The problem is that I don't feel relieved. I was looking forward to this day, thinking and believing that some how I would feel better knowing that I had completed papers and I had done my best. I just don't feel that I did my best. I feel that with all the pressure in other areas of my life, my school work has not been my best. It has been average, and I don't like being average. I want to do my best, always my best, and yet, I feel so let down, so so so BLAH!

UGH!

I have approximately three weeks of teaching and school let to complete before I can wrap Fall 2014 up officially. I have learned life lessons this semester, oodles of life lessons.

  • I have learned my limits. 
  • I have learned what I can and cannot do. 
  • I have learned that no matter how much I desire to succeed, the enemy seeks to destroy any achievement, any accomplishment, and any growth I may experience.
  • I have learned that I cannot do what the Lord is calling me to do.
  • I have learned that what He asks of me must be completed through His strength and His will, and not mine.
  • I have learned that no matter how much I try, I will always fall short of His glory.
  • I have learned that people are imperfect, impossible, and at times, impervious to your suffering.
  • I have learned that the only way to survive is to let go and let God be in control.
  • I have learned that I am flawed human flesh, and that my sin nature desires to rise up when it should humbly stay down.
  • I have learned that I have a very long way to go, and that I am walking on a very long, very hard, and very difficult path.
  • I have learned that despite all of the above -- my Lord loves me, and He has promised to never leave me or forsake me.
  • I have learned that I can rely on the Lord, that I must rely on the Lord, and that these feelings of failure and insecurity are just that -- feelings. They are not truth.
  • Lastly, I have learned to lean on the Lord, to rest upon His complete Person because in this life there is no other NAME, no other PERSON, no other GOD with whom we can place our faith, our trust, and our hope. He is EVERYTHING TO ME.

Psalm 23 (Message)

God, my shepherd!
I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.

Even when the way goes through
Death Valley,
I’m not afraid
when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
makes me feel secure.

You serve me a six-course dinner
right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head;
my cup brims with blessing.

Your beauty and love chase after me
every day of my life.
I’m back home in the house of God
for the rest of my life.


Today I take comfort in the fact that what I feel inside is just that -- it is a feeling. My feelings are fleeting and fickle. They are nothing when stacked up against the line of Scripture. When I feel this way, overwhelmed and anxious, I go to the Word and I receive the truth. I go to His Throne and I find rest. I recover, I relax, and when I am ready --> I pick up my cross and I restart my journey. I am not alone for He is always with me. I am not facing the giants on my own because His strength is my shield and His word is my mighty defense -- my sword. I must keep on moving, I must keep on following the Lord. I must go where He sends me, where He beckons me, and where He intends for me to live and to work. I must go wherever He goes for He is my Lord. He is my all-sufficient Lord.

Dear Lord,

This has been one of the most challenging semesters of my college career. I thought Spring 2014 was going to do me in (Quantitative Statistics) and I thought that I would not have any other semester like that one. Never did I imagine that this semester would beat me so hard, whip me, and challenge me. Never did I think I would do so poorly in a class, poorly in multiple assignments, and end up so miserable as I struggled  to do my best. Yet, through it all, You have been my faithful companion, my constant hope in the storm. I confess that I have doubted you, doubted your Word, and I have believed the lies of the enemy that have tried to pull me off course. I have struggled so much, and I have felt so completely out of my league. I have considered the fact that I am not doctoral quality, not a good teacher, not a good Mom. I have thought about all the areas in my life when I felt so inadequate and not up to the task. Yet, You have never let me down. You have rescued me time and again, and You have not let go of my hand. I rest now, Lord. There is nothing more I can do but let all the misses and mistakes go. I have to move on with you. I have to follow where you lead. I have to let the need to be perfect fall and look up. I have to look to the One who is perfect, who is able to overcome all things, and who is able to see me through to the end of this journey. I look up, Lord, and I wait upon you for you are my Lord, my King, and my Shepherd. You are my ROCK, my REFUGE, and my STRONG TOWER. I rest in You alone, Lord. I rest.

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